New EU regulation for feed additives

The European Commission (EC) has published a regulation establishing a new functional group of feed additives—namely “hygiene condition enhancers." FEFANA welcomes the decision.

The European Commission has published a regulation establishing a new functional group of feed additives—namely “hygiene condition enhancers”—under Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003. FEFANA welcomes the decision of the European Commission, as it will allow and foster authorization of products which favorably affect the hygienic characteristics of feed by reducing a specific microbiological contamination.

The Feed Hygiene Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 lays down critical requirements for preventing and limiting microbial contaminations in feed. According to Art. 5(3) of that regulation, feed business operators have obligation to comply with specific microbiological criteria. However, no functional group of feed additives related to this requirement was included in Annex I of the Feed Additives Regulation. Consequently, before the official establishment of this new functional group, no product could be authorized as feed additive for this purpose.

Feed additives that will be authorized as feed hygiene enhancers are not intended for clearing or mask adulterated feed, but for further reducing contamination once compliance with maximum limits of contaminants have been attained through other means. According to this new regulatory status, any substance or even microorganisms can be used for this purpose as long as they reduce a “specific microbiological contamination” and have been authorized under this claim. Since the objective of the concerned products is to have an effect in feed, the new functional group falls under the category “technological additives.”

The establishment of this new functional group is the result of the dedicated work of FEFANA closely with the EC. The history dates back in 2010, when a group of experts in FEFANA joined in a task force to set up a group of feed additives with positive impact on the hygiene of the feed chain. A consortium was formed in 2011 with the objective to apply for the authorization of “feed hygiene additives.” The consortium, HYFAC (Hygiene of the feed chain authorization consortium), is currently composed of eight companies. Two applications for authorization were submitted the group: one for formaldehyde for pigs and poultry and one for formic acid and its salts for all animal species. In both cases, an EFSA opinion was released and the applicants were now awaiting the adoption of the new functional group in order to enable the authorities to finalize the authorizations of their products as hygiene condition enhancers.

This new Regulation (EU) 2015/2294, coming into force on Dec. 30, introduces an additional contamination-reduction functionality within the scope of the feed additives legislation. Any feed ingredient marketed in the EU aiming at fulfilling this function or making the claim is subject to the feed additives legislative framework, including pre-market assessment and approval. The specific contamination target to be reduced shall be defined and demonstrated by the applicant.

After the inclusion in 2009 of the functional group “substances for reduction of the contamination of feed by mycotoxins”, the most recent amendment to the Feed Additive Regulation is seen as another important milestone for innovation in our Industry.

While Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003 demands critical resources from feed additive operators, in particular regarding the authorization of feed additives. FEFANA sees the establishment of a new functionality as a very positive aspect of the authorization system in place. It is indeed of the utmost importance for the industry’s sustainability that the EU legislative framework not only takes account of technological progress, but also provides room for innovation with adequate transparency. The regulation also protects operators fulfilling the burdensome authorization requirements imposed on feed additives within the European Union.

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